For example, when someone is being told that they're being a prick, they might trot out the old, "I'm just saying it like it is. You all can't handle this real talk!", as if that excuses their bad behaviour. What is a word for such lines; lame clichéd defenses of negative aspects of something or someone?
A platitude is a trite or cliche saying, but it does not typically have the connotation that it is uttered to excuse an inconsistent, illogical, or outdated position as "true but politically incorrect," which is I think what you're hearing.
I like using the phrase "the last refuge" to describe a position that someone holds by virtue of their inability to understand anything else. It's seen a couple different uses, and you can adapt it to fit your needs.
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. -Samuel Johnson
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -Isaac Asimov
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginitive. -Oscar Wilde
^All the above quotations are from the internet, and therefore likely actually uttered by Michael Scott, and not the person referenced.
Nevertheless, I feel like you could adapt your own bon mot to suit your needs. Perhaps,
Political incorrectness is the last refuge of the outdated.
Such excuses are the last refuge of the spiteful.
Attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate: she couldn’t rationalize her urge to return to the cottage
Rationalization (making excuses)
In psychology and logic, rationalization or rationalisation (also known as making excuses) is a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and are made consciously tolerable – or even admirable and superior – by plausible means. It is also an informal fallacy of reasoning. Rationalisation happens in two steps:
- A decision, action, judgement is made for a given reason, or no (known) reason at all (in cases for instance of dogmatic judgement or normal behaviour).
- A rationalisation is performed, constructing a seemingly good or logical reason, as an attempt to justify the act after the fact (for oneself or others).
Rationalization encourages irrational or unacceptable behavior, motives, or feelings and often involves ad hoc hypothesizing. This process ranges from fully conscious (e.g. to present an external defense against ridicule from others) to mostly unconscious (e.g. to create a block against internal feelings of guilt). People rationalize for various reasons — sometimes when we think we know ourselves better than we do. Rationalization may differentiate the original deterministic explanation of the behavior or feeling in question.